Mike Charbonneau, a deputy secretary and communications chief at the state Department of Transportation since 2013, is moving to a similar role with GoTriangle, the three-county bus service and transit planning agency.
He becomes the third deputy secretary to leave DOT for GoTriangle in the past year.
Charbonneau will become communications and marketing director for GoTriangle, based in Research Triangle Park. He previously worked as a WRAL-TV reporter and chief spokesperson for Wake County schools.
“I’m very excited to join the GoTriangle team,” Charbonneau, 36, of Cary said Monday. “There’s really a lot of things happening with transit now and the future of transit in the Triangle.”
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Jeff Mann, who took charge as GoTriangle’s general manager in June, previously was DOT’s deputy secretary for transit. Shelley Blake, a DOT deputy secretary and chief counsel, recently was named GoTriangle’s general counsel. Like Charbonneau, she begins her new job May 16.
While they are moving to a much smaller public agency – GoTriangle has 265 employees, and DOT has 12,000 – both Charbonneau and Blake will start their new jobs at higher salaries. Blake’s annual pay is rising from $125,000 at DOT to $165,000 at GoTriangle, and Charbonneau’s will rise from $104,000 to $117,000, according to state payroll database records and GoTriangle.
The new hires come as GoTriangle moves ahead on engineering work for a $1.6 billion light rail line from Durham to Chapel Hill, and works with Wake County on a proposed $2.3 billion transit plan that would quadruple bus service and augment it with commuter trains and bus rapid transit service.
“We are excited to bring Mike on board during this important time of growth and innovation at GoTriangle,” Mann said in a news release. “His background, experience and diverse skills will be valuable for our organization and our community.”